Our river requires our help

 


Editor,

I love the North Platte River; most likely as much as you do but our river is under attack and always will be. The pressure to use fresh water resources is always in demand and we must be diligent to fight against corporations and politicians to control our precious resources, water quality and way of life.

Three separate issues pertaining to the North Platte are on the table that will have impacts on “our” river for many decades. 1) The BLM RAMP plan. 2) The 1 1/2 mile restoration plan through Saratoga. 3) The town of Saratoga’s attempt to release sewer and water effluent, high in ammonia, directly into the river.

Let me start with the BLM RAMP plan. It may be too late to propose changes to the new resource management plan offered by the federal government (BLM). The RAMP had a 15 year life span (as our current RAMP) but was in effect for 28 years unit the new plans was proposed. After the new plan was offered for public review it seemed decision were complete with little public input but one person in our community kept fighting for his position to be heard and was able to influence BLM officials to reopen and extend the public hearing process. Amazingly the public filled the PVCC and were heard.


Secondly, I continue to believe that our 1 1/2 miles of North Platte River meandering through Saratoga demands our help and assistance as a community. As we speak, Stantec is developing a plan that has no public input on criteria and scoped with only a handful of our local officials involved. Stantec is expected to meet with our representatives sometime mid December; hopeful us “concerned citizens” can attend and be heard before decisions are made and it’s too late.

Third, I am completely against the town of Saratoga releasing sewer and water affluent high in ammonia directly into a “blue ribbon: class one river. This decision by our handful of local officials is based purely on cost and I believe this is where we should take the high ground. Pure fresh water comprises only 3% of all the water on our planet and is constantly and effectively under attack. Few people in our work have such access to clean, unspoiled water as we do, and therefore the responsibility to protect this precious resource.

Please become involved now before decisions are made and it’s too late. These proposals will have lasting impacts on generations to come. Our representatives work for us so let your voice be heard.

Sincerely,

Steven Heinitz

North Platte Trouters

 

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